Jean-François Lesage’s latest documentary (winner of Hot Docs’ Best Canadian feature) takes us to snowy Montreal, where transit riders file into the metro system’s lost and found center to rummage for lost hand-knit tuques and missing house keys, or inquire after photos of departed loved ones tucked into missing bus pass sleeves.
Lesage’s interviews prompt these Montrealers to reflect on their deepest losses, including a loss of career whilst contending with chronic illness, families being displaced and torn apart by the Haiti earthquake, or an artist’s loss of his home, job, and lover to the AIDS crisis. Through crisp black-and-white photography and a jazzy, clarinet-infused soundtrack, Lesage paints a nostalgic picture of Montreal, detailing lives moved not only by sorrow, but also by longing and joy. An empathetic community portrait to warm us through the coming winter.
"Shot in velvety black and white with a looping jazz sax score, Lesage’s film [is] light, soft and wafting with poetic nostalgia." - Stephanie Bunbury, The Age
Best Canadian Feature, Hot Docs 20
Includes an interview with Director: Jean-François Lesage
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Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.
After studying law, Jean-François Lesage began his career as a journalist for Radio-Canada TV in Alberta and BC. In 1998 he headed to Beijing, where he spent six years and directed his first creative documentary, Sweet Nights Sour Nights (2004). He followed this with How Can You Tell if the Little Fish are Happy? (2009). Back in Montréal, A Summer Love (2015) won the Grand Prize for Best Canadian Feature at the RIDM. The Hidden River (2017), his fourth feature, won the Special Jury Prize at the RIDM. Photo: ©Miguel Bueno
How Can You Tell if the Little Fish are Happy? (2009); A Summer Love (2015); The Hidden River (2017)